Sosu, S. A., Kpodo, C. S. & Glover, R. A. (2020). Imaging: The ‘Constructor’ of Modern, Postmodern and Contemporary Life
Photography has become ubiquitous in contemporary experience, manifesting mostly onscreen. This paper explores the scopophilic trends of modern, post-modern and contemporary living as anticipated in the work of Freud and affirmed by Lacan in the coinage scopic regime. It explores how pervasive imaging has become today and exposes how layered the visual can be in contemporary society. Locating photography’s place in contemporary experience brings into focus decades of thought on semiotic discussions. These discussions introduce the political, social and cultural aspects of photographic experience from the 18th century till date. Enwezor’s reflections on the ubiquity, form and power that the image wields especially on contemporary society, condense these contextual implications the image conjures. Our conclusion is that, despite the unease about the impact of the image on society, it seems to have come to stay as a constructor of contemporary life. This paper therefore introduces the photographic image and highlights some of the concerns that surfaced with its introduction. Important theories and trends are discussed with respect to the proliferation of the image today. The imaging technologies and culture of modern men are explored while the coded messages that images transmit are exposed. Views and projections of critical thinkers from different generations and locations are helpful in analyzing the culture of viewing that has pervaded the living conditions of the 21st century citizen. The conclusion is clearly a matter of interpretation since the discovery of the truth in an image is subjective.